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Someone has issues.

Yikes.

Making Anne Coulter and Michelle Malkin look like rational moderates is hard to do, but I believe that’s  been accomplished here (and I’m saying that on past events,  before she’s even charged with anything or her guilt/innocence determined on a hypothetical said charge of the current situation).

Harper fearmongering on the environment

We now see the new strategy that will be employed by Harper and his Cons. crew in trying to defend their Green plan which has been derided for its very modest levels of GHG reduction and the ability of it to even meet those modest targets because of the intensity model it uses.

In short, it’s this: You might think our plan is inadequate, but even then, it’s going to hurt the Canadian economy next year. If we put actual caps or targets on ourselves and try to meet the cuts generally agreed upon that are required to slow or stop global warming, we’d cause a full-scale meltdown of the […]

Condolences to Miss Vicky

I saw the sad news this morning posted over at her site, and I just wanted to pass my condolences on to Miss Vicky and her Webgeek. For what its worth to them, my thoughts and prayers are with them both.

NOW Magazine advocates for a centre-left green pact to defeat Harper

NOW magazine, for those who don’t know, is based out of Toronto and bills itself as “an alternative news and entertainment source”. One of it’s co-founders, Alice Klein, has written an article there in its most recent issue with the thesis being that the centre-left parties continued divisions make it far easier for Harper and his Conservatives to retain power, and that is unacceptable for those in particular who want a government that takes the environmental crisis seriously.

Klein in particular aims her sights at the NDP as the potential party which could make or break this coalition, and gives reasons why it should go for the idea. She argues […]

Actions have consequences.

Santa.. er.. Decima..put some coal in Stevie Harper’s stocking:

A new poll suggests Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have lost their big lead over the Liberals in the wake of recent controversies, plunging six percentage points in popular support in just one week. The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey puts the Tories at 30 per cent support, in a statistical tie with the Liberals who are up four points to 32 per cent. Support for the Tories dropped across all regions and demographic groups.

I’m less inclined to believe Mulroney/Schreiber had anything to do with this plunge. I’m more inclined to believe that a) Canadians did not like Baird and Harper’s stance at […]

Even Conservative appointees dont like being scapegoated.

The lack of political savvy of Harper and the Conservatives in general over this Chalk River episode has been amazing to witness. As I mentioned yesterday, after Harper accuses the Nuclear Safety Board – and specifically its head Linda Keen – as being Liberal hacks endangering the safety of Canadians, we have the Globe and Mail discovering that the former head of the AECL who submitted his resignation was a former Canadian Alliance fundraiser who was picked by the Cons as they refused to hire another candidate despite independent recommendations to do so.

Today, the Globe talks to that former AECL Chairman, who isn’t particularly thrilled he was being made the scapegoat by the Cons for their handling of the situation, as he reveals that his resignation took place before the isotope story broke and was nothing more then an attempt by the Cons. to scapegoat him for the problems at Chalk River:

Michael Burns told The Globe and Mail he submitted his resignation as chair of the Crown corporation on Nov. 29, before the medical isotope crisis stemming from the Chalk River shutdown became public. His departure was announced last Friday with no explanation, but was soon linked by a key cabinet minister to the Chalk River situation..Health Minister Tony Clement has since connected leadership changes at AECL, including the replacement of Mr. Burns, a Vancouver energy executive and onetime Tory fundraiser, as well as the appointment of a new CEO, with the need to give the organization better management. “Well, maybe they do [need better management],” Mr. Burns shot back. “But this is a clumsy piece of political opportunism. If they’re going to do it, they could do it with a little more skill.” Asked whether he felt treated unfairly, he responded: “What’s unfair in politics? I just know that the facts won’t support it. I was gone for a totally different set of reasons. They dragged this resignation out and attached it to the isotope situation … They could have taken more care.”

In otherwards, Harper and Clement and the Cons. decided to make this resignation appear as if they were taking action on the crisis and holding someone accountable for the problem, when that wasn’t the case at all. To be sure, Michael Burns does talk about some of his complaints he has had with the CNSC in this article, and he does try to claim he was picked to be the AECL head for his expertise, not his Canadian Alliance connections, but he also rejects Harper’s charge that CNSC Chairman Linda Kenn was playing partisan politics with the CNSC’s decision to shut down the Chalk River plant.

Again, as with yesterday’s story over the partisan hacks charge, I’m not sure why Harper and Clement and the Cons. assumed the media wouldn’t bother trying to get Mr. Burns’ side of the story, or that he would stay quiet and take the scapegoating lying down.

I said at the start this was a lack of political savvy on the Conservatives part on this issue. I’ve changed my mind – it shows their total ineptness on this issue, and a very clumsy attempt to cast blame elsewhere other then at themselves.

Harper opens mouth, inserts foot.

Harper blamed the crisis over Chalk River on the “Liberal appointed Nuclear Safety Board”, making it out to be the fault of Liberal hacks (though as I pointed out, all are eminently qualified to be on the board).

Now, it turns out, the Globe and Mail has discovered that the recently resigned chairman of the Atomic Energy Board of Canada was a former fund-raiser of the Canadian Alliance Party, and that he was picked for the position over the advice of independent recommendations to choose another candidate.

Apparently, Harper doesn’t think the media does any fact-checking up here or something. They’re not perfect, but they aren’t quite to the compliant […]

Stunning…

…that being I actually agree with what Chantal Hebert writes in her op-ed column this morning in the Toronto Star: Baird’s antics at Bali will hurt the Cons worse then anything Mulroney/Schreiber will ever do to them:

Baird’s less than stellar performance at the Bali conference on climate change touched on a much more tender Conservative spot…For all intents and purposes, the Bali meeting was a multi-day communications disaster for the Harper regime. It set back a year of Conservative efforts to rebrand the party on climate change and confirmed the issue as the government’s Achilles heel.

Hebert goes on to write that Baird’s entourage was outclassed and outmaneuvered by […]

“Baird disgraced us all”

I point to Impolitic’s blogging column this morning and do a bit of a repeat of it, only if to emphasize this part of the Star editorial as to why he disgraced Canadians:

Right up to the final hours, Baird insisted that Canada would not accept any targets unless they were imposed on poor, developing countries, as well. Seen for what it was – a cynical attempt to undermine the chances for real progress at Bali – Baird’s ploy invited scorn from all quarters, brought shame on all Canadians, and turned our country from a progressive voice on the world stage on environmental issues into an international pariah.

I also emphasize this part of the editorial:

If Baird fails to come up with a new convincing plan, Canadians should give some thought to the advice Gore gave to delegates at Bali who fear U.S. inflexibility in negotiations could kill any progress that Bali has made. Gore told them not to waste time on U.S. President George W. Bush, but to set their sights on negotiations with the next American president, who will replace Bush in a little more than a year.

In otherwards, if Canadians want to reduce/stop/slow climate change, and Harper and Baird and the Cons. again put forth no credible plan to cut GHG’s to meet the targets they signed onto in Bali, it will be up to Canadians who care about this issue to vote them out of office.

By the way, just as an aside, the fact we’re getting the biggest snowstorm in many years in Eastern Canada doesn’t give you climate-change deniers any ammo into saying this proves its a false problem. Scientists and climatologists will tell you Global Warming involves more then just warming of the planet – it will bring increased periods of extreme weather conditions to certain parts of the globe – and that includes massive snowstorms that don’t usually happen in Eastern North America till at least January/February.

Just thought I’d throw that in there, since I know some quarters will try to laughably claim that a snowstorm in Mid-December proves global warming doesn’t exist.

Baird/Harper/Bush fails to block Bali agreement.

Well, despite the fact initially it looked like Canada and the US were going to get away with obstruction and blocking any deal on real cuts or set targets to Greenhouse Gases, the world got a deal at Bali – a watered down deal, but one nevertheless. The first part of the deal did remove mentioning specific GHG targets in order to get the USA on board, but a secondary part of this agreement – where 3rd world nations (not unreasonably) asked for better assurances that the developed world would help with providing “green technology” to them – nearly caused the entire conference to collapse. Only concerted and united world pressure caused the US to flip-flop on this:

When the tougher language was added to the agreement, the United States refused to accept the deal – sparking a wave of criticism from almost every other nation at the conference. Finally the U.S. flip-flopped and accepted the language, allowing the deal to go ahead….Conference delegates openly jeered the United States when it tried to oppose the promises sought by the developing nations. Then speaker after speaker demanded that the U.S. must not be allowed to kill the deal single-handedly.

The later part of the agreement is where Canada found itself to be the bad boy of the world:

After a failed attempt to block an agreement, Canada found itself isolated at the Bali conference Saturday and grudgingly accepted a new accord to set a target of 25 to 40 per cent for cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions by wealthy countries by the end of the next decade….The second agreement, later in the day, set targets for deep cuts in emissions – but it applied only to the 38 wealthy countries that have ratified the Kyoto accord, the 1997 agreement that set moderate targets for emission cuts by the wealthy nations. The United States has not ratified Kyoto, so it was not represented in negotiations on this agreement – although environmentalists said Canada was doing the bidding of the U.S. by opposing the deal.

The best part of all of this is, there’s no way Baird and Harper and the Cons. can frame this is as some great victory for Canada or showing how “really committed” they are to stopping GHG. Oh, they’ll try of course, but already we see indications that isn’t going to work. The Globe and Mail, the same Globe which has been deplorably supporting Harper and Baird’s stance on GHG, had this as a title , describing what happened:

Isolated Canada grudgingly accepts Bali deal.

So, the framing of this is being seen already as Canada, led by Harper and Baird, trying to block and/or obstructing an agreement and failing. To be sure, they did help the US in watering down the first part of the agreement, but the second part of the agreement involving Kyoto Protocol signers are set targets, and its plain for all to see that the Cons. current “Green Plan”, with its emphasis on intensity targets, will increase, not decrease GHG emissions. It won’t come nowhere close to those numbers, (many experts are already saying it won’t even come close to the modest targets to what the Conservatives are saying it will meet).

The Cons face a choice: they must either change their plan and impose mandatory caps, or if they refuse, Bali will get them eaten alive at the next election for a party or combination of parties willing to make the necessary deep cuts in GHG emissions. The Cons. and Harper and Baird sought to neutralize the Environment as an issue, and they failed miserably – much to the relief of the rest of the world (and to the world’s general environmental benefit).

[email protected]:45pm: I love Darren’s picture of Baird in his blogpost. I don’t doubt he had a similar look after he realized he had failed Harper’s bidding to block any Bali deals with tangible target cuts in GHG.

Update [email protected]:28 pm: Dave over at Galloping Beaver highlights from an observer the unprecedented booing and jeering of the American delegation that shamed it into agreeing to drop its opposition.

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